Blackjack Ridge is one of the biosolid management areas of the Regional District of Nanaimo. (RDN map)

Blackjack Ridge is one of the biosolid management areas of the Regional District of Nanaimo. (RDN map)

Regional District of Nanaimo to continue biosolids program for another 5 years

New site located near Blackjack Ridge north of the Nanaimo Lakes

The Regional District of Nanaimo will extends its successful biosolids forest fertilization program another five years.

Up to 7,000 tonnes of biosolids from the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre will be used each year at a new site located near Blackjack Ridge north of the Nanaimo Lakes. The biosolids applied to the site will enrich the soil and support healthy tree growth.

“By using the biosolids in forest fertilization, not only is carbon returned back to the soil, thousands of tonnes of biosolids are diverted from the landfill annually,” said Don Bonner, chair of the RDN liquid waste management plan monitoring committee. “This is a significant contribution towards our goal of 90 per cent diversion of waste from the landfill by 2029 and aligns with our environmental strategic priorities and liquid waste management plan.”

READ MORE: Human waste as fertilizer proposal prompts Shuswap opposition

Biosolids are the solids recovered from the wastewater treatment process and stabilized to meet provincially regulated quality criteria. Because of the high amount of nutrients and organic matter present in biosolids, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy encourage local governments to positively reuse biosolids to benefit from the high nutrient value.

A hydrogeological assessment of the Blackjack site was completed to determine its suitability for the biosolids management program. The independent assessment determined there is no risk to wells or other water sources in the area, including the Nanaimo Lakes and the Nanaimo River.

The RDN works with all its biosolids management program partners to maximize the benefits of biosolids usage while upholding strict standards for the protection of human and environmental health. SYLVIS Environmental Services was awarded a five-year contract to apply the GNPCC biosolids to the Blackjack site, in partnership with Mosaic Forest Management, with the option to extend the contract for an additional five years.

For more information about biosolids management in the RDN, visit rdn.bc.ca/biosolids.

— NEWS Staff

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Nanaimo Regional District